Federalist No. 2

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In the second article, Jay takes over from Hamilton. His main theme is that union is better than any of the various forms of disunion: individual sovereignties, several confederacies, and so on, though he does not get much into the particulars of the argument, but instead builds a base of support for it.

It's one of most important questions ever for the people of America, he says. "Nothing is more certain than the indispensable necessity of government, and it is equally undeniable, that whenever and however it is instituted, the people must cede to it some of their natural rights in order to vest it with requisite powers."

This is not about whether liberty is sacrificed, but how to properly strike the balance. For awhile, they all took it for granted that prosperity, safety, and happiness is best to be found in union; but recently, some have disagreed. Is their belief based on truth?

Jay first addresses this by noting that just as the physical land of the nation seems disparate, but it is interconnected by its waters, so its inhabitants are connected by ancestry, language, and religion. It seems, says Jay, that God has designed this people and this place for each other, to never be split up.

Then Jay reaches back and shows how they got to this event. They had long been, in general purposes, a single people, joining together in rights and protection, in peace and war, in defeating enemies and forming alliances. So they made a federal government.

It was flawed for various reasons, but the idea was sound. A group of good men got together and came up with plans. The people didn't know much about these men, but despite a lot of bad press, the people trusted them because they were wise and experienced; they were from different parts of the country; they were interested in public liberty and prosperity.

The people seemed to be happy with the union, even if the specific form it took needs work. And so that's why more men went back to Philadelphia, and if the previous group of men was to be trusted, so much more these, who are more known to the public as deserving of trust, many having been in the previous group.

They worked tirelessly and without passion except for love of country, and unanimously produced a recommendation: the proposed -- not imposed -- Constitution. It is recommended neither for blind acceptance or dismissal, though, as noted in the previous article, this is something more to be hoped than expected.

And here we are. So why split into individual sovereignties or several confederacies? Why change what's worked well so far, but just needs tweaking? Come back for another thrilling installment of The Federalist ! slashdot.org

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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